New paper: Experimental evolution of insect immune memory

Our new paper describing Imroze and Arun’s massive experiment with thousands of infected beetles was recently published online. Within about 10 generations of exposure to Bacillus thuringiensis, flour beetles evolved divergent immune responses: either improved but generalized immune resistance, or specific immune priming (memory). We think that the divergent response is driven by the frequency of exposure to the pathogen. However, for replicate populations within a given exposure treatment, we found a very high degree of parallelism. This is the first report of evolved immune memory in insects, and we are very excited to now figure out the underlying mechanisms. Read the NCBS news article about this work here, or read the paper.

Update, 24 June 2018: The Hindu covered our work in an article; check it out!